STS-132 Launch Tweetup: It’s a Wrap!

What a thrilling experience to witness a Space Shuttle launch. Even better to share it with 150 space tweeps from across the U.S and overseas. We just wrapped our STS-132 launch tweetup at the Kennedy Space Center on Friday. Many are still in Florida or in the process of traveling back home.

STS-132 Launch from Press Site. Credit: NASA

STS-132 Launch from Press Site. Credit: NASA

So hard to leave newfound space buds to come back home. And, who has time to process all the pics and videos when we’re all still tweeting about the experience?

I finally finished downloading all my iPhone pics last night after flying home yesterday afternoon. Mine are no match for the amazing pics I’ve seen from space tweets with high quality lens cameras. I quit taking my camera once I got the iPhone. I can at least capture memories with a device that fits in my pocket.

So what IS a tweetup? What’s the point?

Atlantis framing my tweetup badge

Atlantis + my tweetup badge.

Two-part answer: For some, a tweetup is simply a time and place for digital colleagues to meet in flesh and blood. For NASA, a tweetup is an opportunity for us to grant space tweeps inside access to our aMAZing space people and projects.

You might consider it a Pay-It-Forward for tomorrow’s space endeavors.

We brought in a number of speakers to share insight into, expertise about, and EMOTIONS around the job we do at NASA. (Most notable for me: Chris Meinert, the last guy to shut the hatch on STS-132 crew. He choked up sharing thoughts about the STS-107 Columbia crew. Overwhelming moment for all of us in the tent.)

NASA's Chief Technology Officer, Bobby Braun

NASA's Chief Technology Officer, Bobby Braun

Speakers for L-1:

  • Bobby Braun, NASA Chief Technologist
  • Astronaut Janice Voss
  • Jon Cowart @Rocky_Sci, NASA engineer
  • Stephanie Stilson, Space Shuttle Orbiter Processing Director
  • Ron Woods, NASA spacesuit designer

We toured the facilities at the Kennedy Space Center, capping L-1 with a trip to the Launch Pad for the Rotating Service Structure (RSS) rollback. What a thrill for all of us!

STS-132 Launch Tweetup. Credit: Paul Alers

STS-132 Space Tweeps in front of Atlantis L-1. Credit: NASA's Paul Alers

Launch day (or L-O) began with a group pic in front of the Countdown Clock. A number of tweeps missed the pic. Traffic is a bear on launch day. I made it just in time. Here’s another Where’s Waldo pic.

STS-132 Space Tweeps with Countdown Clock

STS-132 Space Tweeps pose with Countdown Clock. Credit: NASA's Paul Alers.

Speakers for L-0

  • Lori Garver @Lori_Garver, NASA Deputy
  • Patrick Barrett, Weather Officer
  • Chris Meinert, STS-132 Closeout crew
  • Madi Sengupta @msengupta, Johnson Space Center Space Station Robotics instructor
  • …and Bobby Braun came back for round 2 questions. Yay!
NASA Deputy Lori Garver

NASA Deputy Lori Garver

We also debuted a cool new social media aggregation tool called NASA Buzzroom. You can be part of the space conversation whether or not you have a Twitter account. OR, you can sign in through Twitter to keep the discussion going. Try it. See what you think.

Space Tweep Society Mascot inspecting Buzzroom

Space Tweep Society Mascot inspecting new NASA Buzzroom

So, SO many tweeps asked how they could EVER repay NASA for the privilege of coming to the Tweetup.

For me, the answer is simple.

  • Keep the buzz going.
  • Share this amazing thing called space with all your friends, family, colleagues, neighbors, school kids, elders and people you meet on the street.
  • Tell everyone who will listen about the stories you heard, what you saw, and how you felt during your visit to space wonderland, the Kennedy Space Center.
  • Blog, tweet, facebook, youTube, twitpic, flickr your hearts out. (Yes, I use these brand names as verbs now….)
  • Come back for MORE space events as we evolve the social media space community.

How cool is the space biz, after all? Not geeky cool. Just plain cool!

I mean, look at what we do for a living. We break the bonds of gravity each time we lift off Earth. We’re learning to live and work in peace with multiple cultures and languages onboard the International Space Station 24/7 as it orbits the Earth at 17,500 mph every 90 minutes.

We solve problems AGAINST ALL ODDS!

Here’s one example of the payback NASA receives for hosting tweetups: space art by John @Apollo1 in New Jersey, who attended the STS-129 tweetup in November. This is WHY we host tweetups! Check it out!

Tweet by @Apollo1 ShuttleFlower dedicated to STS-132 crewIs hosting a Tweetup worth the effort? ABsoLUTEly!!!!

Here’s my little iPhone photo gallery from the tweetup. For those of you who attended, I had a great time meeting you (if we hadn’t already met)!!! You’re amazing! Thanks SO MUCH for caring enough to spend your own money to travel to Florida to spend two days with us. Godspeed as you journey home!

4 Comments

Filed under astronaut, leadership, NASA, OpenNASA, social media, space, tweet-up

4 responses to “STS-132 Launch Tweetup: It’s a Wrap!

  1. My family insists I go to the next launch tweetup. Twist my arm! Will be reaching out for all good logistics advice as I know these last launches will be very popular.

    Should somebody put a site up: “How to do the NASATweetups” ?

  2. Thanks again for all your hard work and to all those that made this happen. As a space fan since Laika! the live experience is just not going to happen. However these events bring a virtual thrill to this old space dog :)
    Since we are neighbours I would draw your attention to some ideas on public outreach especially during the ‘Gap’
    Cordially
    David G Lermit

    http://brobof.wordpress.com/2010/05/16/selling-space/

  3. Jodi Sperber

    Great post on a most amazing event! I was one of the lucky 150, and I’ll remember it for a lifetime. In my other life I’m a doctoral student focusig on social media, and I think you capture the importance of how these tools can be used to great effect. Go, NASA!

  4. Pingback: WordPress blog stats: 2010 in review | Bethbeck's Blog

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